The expat lifestyle is something that many in Britain aspire to. Sun, a slower pace of life and the ability to experience a different culture for them and their families are some of the reasons often given by expats and potential expats for wanting to move offshore.
However, those of us that have made the move to live in a different country know all too wel that life isn’t always better abroad.
Adapting to that different culture, finding new jobs, new schools, making friends - the expat lifestyle can be tough to get used to. When the global and local economy turns sour all of these problems become far more acute.
For many expats the dream turns into a nightmare and they make the difficult decision to return home.
But in this time of what seems like continual economic turmoil and crisis is that always possible?
For the 400,000 expats living in Spain, the collapsing local property market has left them in severe negative equity putting a block on their ability to sell up and return home.
Even if they do manage to dump their house in a falling market expats can often find it a challenge to secure a mortgage back in Britain. Mortgage providers are often reluctant to provide finance to individuals who have not lived in Britain for several years.
The lack of an established, long term credit history may prevent them from being able to obtain a credit card or even a current account.
However, expats may find that the interest rates on offer at UK banks are superior to their offshore counterparts if they do manage to get financially established back home.